I've long had a photo of dahlias clipped to my inspiration board, for no reason other than the fact that seeing them makes me happy. So my heart skipped a beat when I ran across this tutorial to make dahlias from felt. I've been making them for the last couple of days and, in fact, they've made me so happy that I thought I'd share them with you.
This project was created by Megan Reardon of Not Martha. I followed her tutorial almost exactly and I'm really pleased with the results. The first flower I made looked pretty good, but a bit amateurish. I made the rookie mistake of starting it at ten o'clock at night, in low light, and my Fabri-Tac got away from me, which made some of the glue visible on the felt. Fabri-Tac is a wonderful glue, but it does show up on felt, so my advice is to start in the daytime, or in bright light, so you can see exactly where your glue is going. Also, use as little as you possibly can and concentrate it right in the bottom corners of the petals. Megan's tip for putting a saucepan over the petals as they dry is worth using, as it really makes a difference in getting a secure hold with very little glue (as well as freeing you up to continue making petals).
I decided not to make the pocket on the back of the flower (Instead, I cut a felt circle for the back, stitched the pin backing to the felt circle, and then glued the felt onto the back side of the flower. The only other things I did differently were that I used wool felt (I think there is no substitute for wool felt, though I won't turn my nose up at a wool blend felt), and when I covered the cardboard circle, I cut small slits in my felt all around the perimeter of the circle. This makes it easier to fold the felt in and secure it. But that's it. Her directions are easy to follow and I highly recommend this project. Each flower (without the pocket) takes about 2 hours to complete, though it does get faster after the first one.
In addition, to save you a little time, I've supplied the templates I made for the flowers. Just print them out on heavy card stock. Also, when you're making the petals, fold your felt square in half (as well as the petal template) and line it up with the fold and cut around it. Making one cut, instead of two, will save you time over the long haul. And use really sharp scissors (not the household scissors that you use to cut everything from coupons to your kid's bangs). I prefer Fiskars Micro-Tip scissors. You'll get professional results that way.
This makes a wonderful oversized brooch, but I wouldn't stop there. I think they'd be great on a tote, a handbag, or a belt as well. Oh, and don't think you'll just make one for mom. You'll want one, too.
Resources for Wool (or Wool Blend) Felt: